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Report: Salary cap concerns could make Browns more likely to trade Odell Beckham Jr.

With the NFL salary cap expected to lower in 2021, the Cleveland Browns could find themselves more likely to consider trading Odell Beckham Jr.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry's press conference in the video above is from Jan. 20, 2021. 

Another day, another story speculating about Odell Beckham Jr.'s future with the Cleveland Browns.

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Only unlike others that have linked the three-time Pro Bowl receiver to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in recent weeks, this one has actual logic and perhaps even merit to it.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano published a report detailing the unique offseason the NFL will soon find itself facing with the league's salary cap expected to not rise, but drop. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the NFL's salary cap is expected to drop from $198.2 million in 2020 to a projected $181 million in 2021.

As a result, Fowler and Graziano report that teams could be more willing to trade star players who currently under high figure salaries. Among the examples used in the report is Beckham, who is set to make a $14.5 million base salary in 2021.

"Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could drive interest, although he has missed 25 games over the past four seasons due to injury, and in the one full season he did play during that span (2019), he battled through a groin injury," the story reads. "Still, his $15.75-million cap hit isn't bad for a player of his caliber. Receiver-needy teams hesitant to spend big on Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay could call Cleveland, which also has high-priced Beckham buddy Jarvis Landry under contract at the same position."

Speculation regarding Beckham's future in Cleveland, of course, has been constant dating back to the Browns' acquisition of the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019. Asked about Beckham's status with the team last month, Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry said that he still views the LSU product as a core member of the Browns' roster.

"With Odell, you always want to have someone that talented on the field so maybe the easy [answer] is you always miss him," Berry said of Beckham, who missed Cleveland's final 11 games of 2020 due to a torn ACL. "He is a great player. He is a dynamic weapon. You like having dynamic weapons on the field.”


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